Kevin Kruger has landed his first forward in the transfer portal, as Royce Hamm will head to UNLV from Texas, according to Jeff Borzello.
Hamm was listed at 6-foot-9, 225 pounds and played the last four seasons for the Longhorns. But he was used sparingly. He played in 90 career games, but averaged just 9 minutes per appearance.
This past season Hamm played in 22 games, averaged 8.8 minutes and 1.9 points. Over his career, he took 140 shots, but made just 46.4 percent of them.
Hamm comes from a high-major program, but is unproven in a big role.
The UNLV roster is in flux. So figuring out Hamm’s expected role will be tough until the lineup is more complete.
As of now, UNLV has Mbacke Diong as a potential center, but Diong may elect to end his collegiate career rather than return to UNLV for one extra season.
At the power forward spot, UNLV has Moses Wood on the roster. The transfer from Tulane played 22.2 minutes per game last season for the Rebels averaging 6.1 points and offers a three point shooting threat.
Reece Brown was a little used power forward for UNLV last season, but he could develop into a legitimate option at the four.
If Arthur Kaluma ends up coming to UNLV, the Rebels will have a top 50 recruit as a front court option as well. That is the competition Hamm will take on for playing time.
All five seem to be solid options. But pending Kaluma’s impact as a freshman, the Rebels might still lack a true difference maker up front.
Hamm is not the only Texas transfer UNLV is chasing. His teammate Donovan Williams is in the transfer portal and had a zoom meeting with Kruger. Williams, a 6-foot-6 guard, averaged 3.3 points las season for the Longhorns.
Kevin Kruger needs to remake the UNLV roster, as seven of his own players are in the portal. Hamm is the second player from the portal to commit to UNLV after West Virginia’s Jordan McCabe.
Raiding the benches of the Big 12 appears to be the strategy this offseason, especially considering Kruger hired Carlin Hartman away from Oklahoma.